The 16-year-old suspect in a Santa Clarita, California, school shooting that killed two students and injured three others has died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The gunman, identified as Saugus High School sophomore Nathaniel Berhow, died on Friday, complicating investigators' attempts to nail down a motive in the shooting.
On Thursday morning, Berhow arrived at school on his 16th birthday, pulled out a semi-automatic .45-caliber pistol from his backpack, and began firing before shooting himself in the head. Prior to turning the gun on himself, he shot five students, and two of them, a 16-year-old female victim and a 14-year-old male victim, died at the hospital from their wounds.
Berhow was also taken to a nearby hospital, where he was reportedly in "grave" condition as of Friday morning. However, he later succumbed to his injury, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said Friday evening.
According to authorities, the gunman was silent as he shot his fellow students and appeared to have selected them at random.
“It doesn’t appear he had any interaction with anyone,” Sheriff Alex Villanueva said. “He was just standing by himself, at one point walked to the center of that quad area — dropped the backpack — withdrew with a firearm and just started firing.”
There is no indication that the shooter's mother was aware he had a gun. Investigators are working on tracing the weapon, along with others found at his home, some of which are not registered. While police haven't identified a motive, they believe the attack was planned.
“It wasn’t a spur-of-the-moment act,” Villanueva said.